Getting to Mount Rokko

The exercise was to write about a time you were really brave.

When I was on my way home from Japan I travelled alone with two suitcases, a backpack and my handbag from Kokura in Kyushu all the way up to Tokyo. On the way up I stopped at Hiroshima, Osaka and Tokyo itself.

While staying in Osaka I decided to travel to Kobe, and once there I discovered that Mount Rokko had one of the top ten bed nightscape views in the world. I decided I wanted to go up, but it wasn’t something I could do during the day if I wanted pictures at night so I waited.

Unfortunately, I miscalculated how long it would take me to get to the cable cars that would take me to the top, and I had no idea where they were. I’d assumed they would be labelled up and easy to find; I was very wrong. I was walking for hours, heading uphill since it made sense, and I ended up walking around a winding road in a residential area. The cable cars were on the edge of the hillside housing area, not really a tourist trap.

It was quite late when I arrived; I forget the exact time, and I was only just in time to get the last car up. The car was more like a tram. It didn’t leave the ground, and slowly crawled its way up through the trees and plants. The sides were open in most cars, and I could feet it was starting to get cold, and it was pitch black. I couldn’t see beyond the branches being lit up by the car.

Once at the top I walked out to a bus station, and on the sign was an arrow with fifteen minutes to the Mount Rokko view point, so I set off walking. There was no footpath along the road, and it was pitch black when no busses went by. There was a rocky hillside on one side, and trees with a slope on the other. I could hear the bushes rustling, and thought there was someone there.

After a while I reached a small park area with a closed tourist centre, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. I decided to stop and take a few photos, hoping that they would come out alright. It was so cold my hands were shaking, and there weren’t many places to rest my camera for support; this was before I got a tripod.

I decided to head back to the station after that, because I had no idea where I was going, and it had been much longer than fifteen minutes. I made my way back, jumping at sounds and avoiding cars on the road. I realised when I got back that the arrow had meant fifteen minutes by bus. There was a bus there when I reached the station, and I managed to get to the view point.

The better view point was closed for refurbishing, and the tourist centre and café were closed; in fact I only had twenty minutes or so to get some pictures and get the bus back. If I missed the bus I would be trapped until morning, and it was freezing. My hands were so cold I could barely move my fingers. I rested my camera on a fence and manage to get a picture before going to the bus stop and waiting for the bus back.

The End

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